I'm really not sure with the translation of that question (English is not my 1st language). To that question I answered "no" : I did have an old passport but it was issued in France (I am and always have been a French citizen). I used this passport to travel to Russia, Australia and European countries - does it count and should I ask for another ESTA ? My husband to the same question answered "yes" as he had a passport from the past too (also issued in France). In the application he thought he was explaining he had travelled to Ireland, Finland, Australia and so on with his old passport, but in the end it seems to me that he actually was saying he had a ID issued in Ireland, another in Finland, a passport issued in Australia. So what should we do ? Who is right (or maybe we're both wrong...)? What should we have answered to the question "have you ever been issued a passport etc." ? What does "Have you ever been issued a passport or ID for travel by any other country?" actually mean?

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    You are aware that the ESTA site is available in many languages, including French?
    – jcaron
    Feb 13, 2020 at 20:55
  • What is the actual question here? Feb 14, 2020 at 7:41
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    @FedericoPoloni I think the real question is what does the ESTA question mean and why is it so poorly written? Having parsed the question several times myself it is very clearly ambiguous (wording intentional) and can be read several ways.
    – MD-Tech
    Feb 14, 2020 at 9:29
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    @phoog it was originally aimed at "clearly ambiguous" but I'm not sure if your other interpretation is more amusing!
    – MD-Tech
    Feb 14, 2020 at 12:37
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    @I'mwithMonica I can see an interpretation but only through the language barrier (I work with a large number of french speakers) so you might have a point. I'm not active here so am not going to comment on whether it is on topic or not I only wanted to clarify the question. I think the officialese that is being used here is specific enough to travel...
    – MD-Tech
    Feb 14, 2020 at 13:21

2 Answers 2


A simplified version of the question would be:

Have you ever been issued a passport by any other country?

This should be easier to answer. It sounds like in your case, where you are French citizens and have only ever been French citizens, the answer would be no. (If your husband was issued a French passport in Australia, that would not count as a different country. If he was issued an Australian passport, because he became an Australian citizen, that would be entirely different.)

The reason the "or ID for travel" is also in the question is because there are other kinds of documents (such as those issued to refugees) which are generically called "travel documents". These are documents that you could use for international travel in lieu of a passport.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. You can post additional comments there.
    – Willeke
    Feb 15, 2020 at 8:45

A passport issued in Australia is not necessarily issued by Australia. The key part of the question is "by any other country." Another passport issued by the same country doesn't count, regardless of when or where it was issued.

If you and your husband have both held only French nationality then all your passports and national ID cards have been issued by France, and your answer to this question should be no.

Although this implies that your husband answered the question incorrectly, he probably should not apply for a new ESTA. Incorrect answers that disclose extra information are not particularly troubling because they are not deceptive.

(Anyone who is in the opposite circumstances should probably submit a new application, however, because willfully omitting information that should have been included is deceptive; the omission could therefore lead to trouble; and disclosing the information on your own initiative is the best way to show that the earlier omission was not willful.)

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